|Publication number||US7346933 B2|
|Application number||US 10/219,651|
|Publication date||Mar 18, 2008|
|Filing date||Aug 15, 2002|
|Priority date||Sep 5, 2001|
|Also published as||US20030046588|
|Publication number||10219651, 219651, US 7346933 B2, US 7346933B2, US-B2-7346933, US7346933 B2, US7346933B2|
|Inventors||Gregory James Gliniecki, Mark Thomas Elliott|
|Original Assignee||Computerprox Corporation|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (9), Non-Patent Citations (6), Referenced by (5), Classifications (11), Legal Events (3)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application claims the priority of U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/317,357 (by Gliniecki, et al., filed Sep. 5, 2001, and entitled “SENSOR FOR DETECTING PROXIMITY OF A PERSON TO A COMPUTER FOR SECURITY, POWER SAVINGS AND OTHER FUNCTIONS”).
Most computer security methods focus on the authentication of a user 302 (
The proposed device 105 detects the user's 302 proximity to the computer 102 by using ultrasound and/or infrared sensors 106. If the user 302 leaves the proximity, the device 105 detects this event through the use of the sensor(s) 106 and sends a command 120 to lock the computer 102, thus assuring the system 100 is secure.
Furthermore, this same device 105 can also be used as an effective means of putting the system 100 into a standby mode to save power. In today's world of ever rising power costs and shortages, this device 105 can save money and provide a responsible means of saving energy.
The proposed device 105 uses a sensor 106 to determine when a user 302 is in the proximity of the computer 102. As the user 302 approaches the computer 102 the sensor 106 determines when the user 302 has entered the predetermined proximity and an “armed” state is set. This range of proximity is adjustable by the user 302 for the specific application. Once the user 302 has armed the device 105, the device 105 is ready to send the specific command 120 when the user 302 exits the defined proximity. The “exit command” 120 for example could be the command to lock, logoff or place the computer 102 in standby mode. The exit command 120 can be configured for the specific computer operating system, application program, or desired function.
The device 105 can be designed to attach to a variety of computer ports 124. For modern computer systems 100, the device 105 takes advantage of the computer Universal Serial Bus (“USB”). One example of the port 124 comprises Universal Serial Bus port 126. By using this port 126, the device 105 can emulate a keyboard 104 and thus send the lock or standby command 120 to the computer 102 without any additional application software. These can be the specific key sequences that the user 302 would strike if locking the computer 102 manually. Once the device 105 has been attached to the system 100 as a keyboard 104, the computer 102 thinks the user 302 has typed the commands 120.
For non-USB enabled computers 102, a version of the device 105 can perform a similar emulation by attaching between the keyboard port and computer 102, as a “keyboard wedge” 202 (
Optionally the serial, parallel, keyboard, USB or other commonly used ports 124 can be used in conjunction with an installed software application that can act on the device commands 120 to lock, logoff, place the computer 102 in standby mode or any desired function.
Sensing the User 302
A few sensors 106 are currently available for the detection of the user 302. The device 105 can use one or more of the sensing technologies in the design. Ultrasound, active infrared and passive infrared are good choices. These can be used alone or in combination.
Ultrasound Sensor 106
Ultrasound is a good choice due to the fact that a very specific distance can be set by the user 302. An ultrasound transducer continuously sends pulses of ultrasound toward the user space. When the user 302 enters this range, the ultrasound transponder receives the reflection from the user's body. The time between the ultrasound pulse and received reflection is used to calculate the accurate distance of the user 302. When the user 302 has come within a preset range, an “armed” state is set indicating that once the user 302 has left the defined proximity, the device 105 is to send the appropriate exit command 120 to the computer 102.
Infrared Sensor 106
Infrared (“IR”) can be used by sensing the intensity of the IR reflected by the user's body. This reflected IR is used to determine the proximity. While generally less accurate in detecting exact distance, the IR sensor 106 is a low cost alternative. When the user 302 leaves the defined proximity, the device 105 can send the appropriate exit command 120.
Passive Infrared (“PIR”)
A Passive Infrared (“PIR”) sensor 106 can be used to detect body heat. When the user 302 leaves the proximity, the device 105 can send the appropriate exit command 120.
Exit Command 120
The exit command 120 can be at the machine, operating system or application level. An example at the operating system level would be under Microsoft's Windows 2000. After the armed state has been set and the user 302 exits the defined proximity, the Ctl-Alt-Del “k” command can be sent to lock the operating system. Additional keys can be sent to assure that the computer 102 goes back to a passive state in the event the exit commands 120 are sent when the operating system is already locked. (i.e., for Windows 2000 the backspace and escape keys are sent) to reset to the passive locked state.
At the application level, the device 105 can send the appropriate commands 120 that the application requires to lock, log off, go into standby mode, or any other desired function.
A helper application can also be used to send the appropriate commands 120 to the operating system or application. This helper application can be useful when using non-keyboard ports 124 or complex locking, log off, standby sequences or other functions. For example, if the device 105 is attached to the serial port, the application can respond to a command on the serial port and execute the appropriate exit command 120.
This device 105 is also an ideal addition to a Single Sign On (“SSO”) solution used on computers 102. The device 105 can send the appropriate lock or log off command 120 to the SSO application to assure the computer 102 is secure when the user 302 leaves the proximity of the computer 102.
The device 105 can be configured for the appropriate commands 120 and timings 130 for the walk to (“arm”) and walk away (“exit”) events.
An arming timeout 132 can be configured to require a pre-determined time before the arm event occurs. A pre-arm key sequence 134 can be sent by the device 105 as well. For example, the Ctl-Alt-Del sequence can be sent when the user 302 walks to a Windows 2000 system so that the computer 102 is ready to accept the user name and password without the user 302 having to hit the Ctl-Alt-Del keystrokes, thus saving user keystrokes.
A delay 136 can be configured to allow the user 302 a predetermined time to be out of the field before triggering the exit command 120. This will help reduce unintentional exit commands 120 if the user 302 is momentarily out of the defined proximity (i.e., reaching for the phone, a folder, etc.).
The sensitivity can be set for proximity distance. This would be the distance of the user 302 when using ultrasound, intensity of reflected IR with the active IR sensor 106, and the intensity of the body heat when using passive IR sensors 106. The defined proximity 138 for arming and the defined proximity 140 for the exit command can be the same or could also be set at different distances based on user preference.
The actual commands 120 can also be configured in the device 105 so that the appropriate pre-arm and exit commands 120 can be configured by the user 302. With the USB and keyboard versions, this can be the actual keystrokes to send the computer 102.
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|U.S. Classification||726/34, 726/19, 340/288, 340/290, 340/291, 340/287, 340/289|
|International Classification||G06F21/00, G06F1/26|
|Aug 15, 2002||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: COMPUTERPROX CORPORATION, ILLINOIS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:GLINIECKI, GREGORY JAMES;ELLIOTT, MARK THOMAS;REEL/FRAME:013204/0978
Effective date: 20020813
|Mar 18, 2011||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|Apr 26, 2015||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 8